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Physical fitness level is reflected by alterations in the human plasma metabolome
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. (Computational Life Science Cluster (CLiC))
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
2012 (English)In: Molecular BioSystems, ISSN 1742-206X, Vol. 8, no 4, 1187-1196 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An excessive energy intake combined with a low level of physical activity induces detrimental processes involved in disease development, e.g. type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However the underlying mechanisms for regulation of metabolic capacity and fitness status remain unclear. Metabolomics involves global studies of the metabolic reactions in an organism or cell. Thus hypotheses regarding biochemical events can be generated to increase the understanding of disease development and thereby aid in the development of novel treatments or preventions. We present the first standardized intervention study focusing on characterizing the human metabolome in relation to moderate differences in cardiorespiratory fitness. Gas chromatography-time of flight/mass spectrometry (GC-TOF/MS) was used to characterize 460 plasma samples from 27 individuals divided into two groups based on physical fitness level (VO2max). Multi- and univariate between group comparisons based on 197 metabolites were carried out in samples collected at rest prior to any intervention, over time following a nutritional load or a standardized exercise scheme, with and without nutritional load. We detected decreased levels of gamma-tocopherol (GT), a vitamin E isomer, in response to a high fitness level, whereas the opposite was seen for the alpha isomer (AT). In addition, the high fitness level was associated with elevated ω3-PUFA (DHA, 22:6ω3) and a decrease in ω6-PUFA (18:2ω6) as well as in saturated (16:0, 18:0), monounsaturated (18:1) and trans (16:1) fatty acids. We thus hypothesize that high fitness status induces an increased cardiorespiratory inflammatory and antioxidant defense system, more prone to deal with the inflammatory response following exercise and nutrition intake.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012. Vol. 8, no 4, 1187-1196 p.
Keyword [en]
Metabolomics, pysical exercise, cardiorespiratory fitness, GC-MS, OPLS and chemometrics
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Systems Analysis
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43862DOI: 10.1039/C2MB05428KOAI: diva2:416737

First published on the web 27 Jan 2012

Available from: 2011-05-12 Created: 2011-05-12 Last updated: 2014-11-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mapping the consequenses of physical exercise and nutrition on human health: A predictive metabolomics approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mapping the consequenses of physical exercise and nutrition on human health: A predictive metabolomics approach
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human health is a complex and wide-ranging subject far beyond nutrition and physical exercise. Still, these factors have a huge impact on global health by their ability to prevent diseases and thus promote health. Thus, to identify health risks and benefits, it is necessary to reveal the underlying mechanisms of nutrition and exercise, which in many cases follows a complex chain of events. As a consequence, current health research is generating massive amounts of data from anthropometric parameters, genes, proteins, small molecules (metabolites) et cetera, with the intent to understand these mechanisms. For the study of health responses, especially related to physical exercise and nutrition, alterations in small molecules (metabolites) are in most cases immediate and located close to the phenotypic level and could therefore provide early signs of metabolic imbalances. Since there are roughly as many different responses to exercise and nutrients as there are humans, this quest is highly multifaceted and will benefit from an interpretation of treatment effects on a general as well as on an individual level. This thesis involves the application of chemometric methods to the study of global metabolic reactions, i.e. metabolomics, in a strategy coined predictive metabolomics. Via the application of predictive metabolomics an extensive hypothesis-free biological interpretation has been carried out of metabolite patterns in blood, acquired using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), related to physical exercise, nutrition and diet, all in the context of human health. In addition, the chemometrics methodology have computational benefits concerning the extraction of relevant information from information-rich data as well as for interpreting general treatment effects and individual responses, as exemplified throughout this work. Health concerns all lifestages, thus this thesis presents a strategic framework in combination with comprehensive interpretations of metabolite patterns throughout life. This includes a broad range of human studies revealing metabolic patterns related to the impact of physical exercise, macronutrient modulation and different fitness status in young healthy males, short and long term dietary treatments in overweight post menopausal women as well as metabolic responses related to probiotics treatment and early development in infants. As a result, the studies included in the thesis have revealed metabolic patterns potentially indicative of an anti-catabolic response to macronutrients in the early recovery phase following exercise. Moreover, moderate differences in the metabolome associated with cardiorespiratory fitness level were detected, which could be linked to variation in the inflammatory and antioxidaive defense system. This work also highlighted mechanistic information that could be connected to dietary related weight loss in overweight and obese postmenopausal women in relation to short as well as long term dietary effects based on different macronutrient compositions. Finally, alterations were observed in metabolic profiles in relation to probiotics treatment in the second half of infancy, suggesting possible health benefits of probiotics supplementation at an early age.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Print och Media, 2011. 60 p.
Metabolomics, physical exercise, cardiorespiratory fitness nutrition, high protein and fat diet, Lactobacillus F19, probiotics, GC-MS, plasma, chemometrics, multivariate analysis statistical experimental design, design of experiments
National Category
Other Basic Medicine
Research subject
Systems Analysis; Nutrition; Molecular Medicine
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43844 (URN)978-91-7459-128-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-06-03, KB3B1, KBC-huset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Embargo until 2012-06-01Available from: 2011-05-12 Created: 2011-05-12 Last updated: 2011-05-13Bibliographically approved

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Chorell, ElinSvensson, MichaelAntti, Henrik
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